The insight of our elders…

The protagonist of my novel, Meg Riley, sustains the loss of her parents at a fairly young age.  Fortunately for her she has two wonderful maternal grandparents who fill the void and guide her through her young adult life during the 1970s and 80s.  Clare Meyer, her older friend at Quarry Lake, was in a similar situation as Meg during the 1950s.  Clare is guided by her mentor Eleanor, Meg’s great aunt. They represent successive generations who influence one another in positive ways.  This is not to say they always get along.  In the novel, Eleanor is in her 90s, Clare in her 70s and Meg in her 50s.  They learn from one another, comfort one another, support one another.

These relationships are no accident.  My life has been filled with strong female role models, namely my mother and her mother.  My grandmother had her two children very late in life and lost her husband to cancer when my mother was 11 and my uncle 12.  In 1940, this was a bleak prospect at her age of 51.  She managed though it was far from easy.  We found ourselves in a difficult situation when I was roughly the same age.  My mom worked so hard while also caring for my grandmother a few hours each day after her teaching job.  Then she came home to my brother and me and continued her job as mother and mentor.  She never complained and to this day I don’t know how she did it.

As I face the challenges of my own life, I often wonder how I get through what I encounter each day with two chronic illnesses.  Yes, I know it’s preferable to the alternative (death) but at times it seems so overwhelming.  Thankfully I have the same stubbornness that allowed my mother to survive.  Living well is the best revenge, after all.

So is it an accident that strong female characters lie at the root of my mystery?   Will they persevere as I have?  Keep reading…

About thequarryschild

A self-described forensic junkie, Beth Anderson spends her days shaping young minds to ask critical questions and wonder “whodunit.” Beth resides in the Capital District of New York and spends her free time reading and solving the great mysteries. Her love of swimming, tennis and sports provides the basis for one of the lead characters in her new book The Quarry’s Child. Beth is one of the founding members of the Upper Hudson Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime (aka Mavens of Mayhem), a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, a survivor of a visit to an active aircraft carrier while it was at sea, and a published poet in Soundings, a literary journal. Beth continues to instill a love for mystery fiction in her students as she has for over twenty years. Photo credit: Quinn Mulvey
This entry was posted in family, friendship, gender, perseverance, role models, strong women, women. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The insight of our elders…

  1. teri says:

    You as insightful as ever. Where can I read the novel?

  2. L. Miller says:

    (OMG) Word. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, after all…..and for the record, “normal” roses are overrated; “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” Atticus sure knew what he was talking about….

  3. L. Miller says:

    (Gasp!) I also noticed you looked straight at me when you made the connection between the whole ‘sea rose/worn out but still getting by’ thing. Coincidence? I think not….Message received.

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